The Politics of Poverty

Ideas and analysis from Oxfam America's policy experts


Disasters & conflicts

Arms Trade Treaty negotiations: Five things to watch

After years of waiting, the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty got underway, sort of, on July 2. The first two days were wasted by an off-topic debate over credentials and seating arrangements. But on the evening of July 3, work began.                         […]

Disasters & conflicts

What’s the deal with bananas and the global arms trade?

Are there more international laws on the trade of bananas than conventional weapons, like AK-47s? The short answer is astonishingly, yes. The global trade in bananas or banana plants is governed by at least three binding global agreements and the non-binding, though strictly adhered to, Codex food code. The arms trade is not governed by […]

Disasters & conflicts

Time to resend the memo to ATT negotiators

On Monday April 16, I attended an event in Washington, DC where senior State Department officials gathered with representatives of the US arms industry, NGOs like Oxfam, and members of the public to discuss the US position on the Arms Trade Treaty. The event provided the US government with an opportunity to lay out its […]

Disasters & conflicts

Separating fact from fiction on the Arms Trade Treaty

A victim of armed violence in Albania. A parliamentarian from Uruguay. A women’s rights activist from the Central African Republic. And an American arms control expert.   They all spoke last Thursday at a UN Conference on the Proposed Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) about the need for increased global regulations on the international trade of […]

Disasters & conflicts

Do as I say, not as I do

France's arms transfer to Libyan rebels who have been accused of serious human rights violations weakens the French position within the UN Arms Trade Treaty discussions which are due to resume July 11. The US should not follow suit.

Disasters & conflicts

Shutting off the tap – regulating the global arms trade

The global arms market is out of control and there is probably no multilateral initiative more important to prevent mass violence and human rights abuse in fragile states than to address this scourge.